Welcome to The Quick Six Interview with Carolyn Martinez!
Carolyn Martinez writes non-fiction to explore topical social issues from varying perspectives. She also has 4 children’s picture books under the pen name Cate Sawyer – Discombobulated, The Umbilical Family, It’s Raining Shoes, and Places to Poop. Her early readers are phonetics based, contemporarily illustrated, and include captions to delight the adult and child reader. Carolyn is a nurturer – of people, fellow authors, readers. She is passionate about protecting the integrity of the book industry and producing quality works that leave a footprint.
Who wrote, illustrated and published this book?
I wrote this children’s picture book under my pen name, Cate Sawyer. It is contemporarily illustrated by the talented Adrianna Avellis – she has illustrated 4 of my books now. It was Indie published by Hawkeye Publishing, my publishing company that was formed in 2002 to publish The Westerner newspaper. The newspaper sadly folded last year along with the myriad of other print media. Now I use Hawkeye Publishing to publish my books, and run my writers’ blog. (I’m on the hunt for a brilliant non-fiction work by an independent author that I feel I could successfully produce and market under the Hawkeye Publishing flagship).
What is it called and what is it about?
My latest picture book is called The Umbilical Family. Targeted at 5-7 year olds, it is a conversational starter for parents to explain adoption, IVF donor eggs and embryos, surrogacy and any and all non-nuclear family dynamics.
It follows the path of a heart shaped umbilical cord that grows from the love of a parent. Step-parents, fathers and all of the above grow an umbilical cord of love from their heart to the heart of their child.
The Umbilical Family is cute, sensitive and humorous.
When is its release / launch date?
Already out. Available through www.hawkeyepublishing.com.au and all major online retailers.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
The two biggest loves of my life are my adopted son and my daughter born from a donated embryo. I was walking by the ocean one morning (I often draw inspiration from the power of water), and the idea formed. The title and the graphics flowed in pages as I walked. I drove home and wrote like a demon to get it all down. Several iterations later, the illustrator and I, were happy with our story and designs.
Why is this book meaningful to you and why would its message resonate with readers?
For the connection with my son and daughter of course, and also because I was able to incorporate two writing elements that I believe in – humour and phonetics. A child who reads, is a child then an adult who thinks. I like to do some small part in fostering a generation of thinkers.
I also enjoyed giving a nod of acknowledgement to the army of step and foster parents out there loving the kids in their care.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
I promote The Umbilical Family in person – I run writing workshops, appear on author Q&A panels, and do playgroup readings which bring exposure to all my books. In the cyber sphere I promote on my website and targeted social media advertising to parents in the target group.